13 Sep 2019

Bus full of reporters crashes into Canadian PM's plane

2:57 pm on 13 September 2019

The Canadian election campaign is off to a flying start, even if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's plane was grounded by a scraped wing.

A bus ferrying journalists collided with the wing of the Liberal party's chartered Boeing yesterday.

Photos show a scrape where the coach roof hit the bottom of the wing of the aircraft at the airport in Victoria, British Columbia.

Mr Trudeau had launched the 40-day federal election campaign that day.

He flew his branded campaign plane across the country to the west coast where the mishap occurred.

The prime minister was not on the just-landed aircraft at the time of the prang.

"Maybe our bus driver should have chosen backward, not forward," quipped journalist Tonda MacCharles, playing on the Liberal campaign slogan of "choose forward".

A Liberal party spokesperson said an assessment is being made of the damage, but added there was no schedule change and the campaign would continue as planned.

The Liberal leader was due to fly on a separate plane to the neighbouring province of Alberta for rallies today.

The original plane was a Boeing 737-800, with a 189 seat capacity and a wing span of 34.3m. It was chartered from Montreal-based airline Air Transat.

The Liberal party said it wa buying carbon offsets for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the prime minister's flights.

British Columbia is expected to be a fierce battleground for multiple political parties, and the Liberals are fighting to hold on to their 17 seats there.

Mr Trudeau is seeking a second term in office after winning a majority government in the 2015 Canadian general election.

Both the Liberals and the Conservatives have campaign planes with the names of their leaders - Mr Trudeau and Andrew Scheer, respectively - emblazoned on the fuselage.

Mr Trudeau wasn't the only leader whose campaign faced transportation problems on the first day.

Mr Scheer's plane took off for a rally in the province of Quebec on Wednesday morning only to be diverted by fog.

Journalists and campaign staff were forced to travel by bus for more than an hour in order to reach the first event.

Canadians go to the polls on 21 October.